Sunday, December 23, 2012

The end of an era

Friday was a hard day for me.  Laurel was very excited for her last day of school.  She is counting the days down until Christmas and Friday was another one to mark off the calender.  But Friday was also Sierra's LAST day of school.  As in, she won't be going back.  We have decided to homeschool  Sierra starting in January. I never imagined that I would say these words!

It has not been an easy decision to make.  Especially considering how horrible challenging it was when I tried to teach Sierra to tie her shoes - "No, that's not the way to do it" "Yes it is" "No, you need to do this and this"  "No, I'm doing it the right way" "Accckkk!"  - I never thought that I'd be up to the immense challenge of being in charge of her entire education.  Unfortunately, our county/school budget is a complete trainwreck.  Ever since the school's budget was slashed before the summer things have just continued on a downward spiral.  Teachers are leaving.  Great teachers who deserve so much more they are getting (not just money but respect and appreciation).  I cannot imagine who will fill their void with the system in the position that it's in.  Most likely class sizes will get larger, advanced classes will become less available, etc.  Not to mention the insanity that if Sierra stays in our public schools in three years she will be going to high school.  Yes, the eighth graders are in the high school.  These were the concerns that made the decision a little easier.  Sierra has said that she wanted to be homeschooled since last year.  In light of these issues, it just felt like the right time to try it.

However, Sierra has had a good 5 1/2 years in the school system.  She has had some amazing teachers that have shaped her in to the wonderful girl that she is now.  They have taught her not just reading and writing, but also how to think outside of the box,  how to stand up for herself, how to be a kind, caring individual.  Although the schools are large Sierra has known a lot of these kids since she was just five years old.  They have shared lunch, gone to birthday parties, and grown up together.  These are the reasons why Friday was hard.  These reasons are why, very unexpectedly, my tears wouldn't stop as I said good-bye to the school guidance counselor.  This is the end of Sierra's relationship with these teachers who have taught her well, the principal who has greeted her when she walked in the door in the morning, the kids with whom she has spent endless hours on the playground.  If this year works out well for us and we decide to continue with homeschooling, Friday was the end of an era for Sierra.  And "end of eras" make me sad.

Sierra seemed largely unfazed by the events of Friday.  We've talked to her about the way relationships will change with a lot of kids from school, but she is very excited about starting this endeavor.  She is anxious to explore new ways of learning and enjoy the flexibility that goes along with homeschooling.  To be realistic, she's excited about getting to stay in her pj's some days! 

As for Laurel, she is in a great little school right now, small class size, and fabulous teacher.  She has zero desire to be homeschooled.  At this point regarding the school system, circumstances are not so bad that I feel the need to take my child out against her wishes.  I hope that it never comes down to that which is why we will continue to fight for the school system and the teachers that stick it out through this mess.  I am beyond grateful for what they do everyday and want to see them get everything that they deserve and that they need to keep growing our children.  In the meantime, wish me a little luck in this exciting but daunting endeavor with Sierra!

No comments:

Post a Comment